Growth of bank assets accelerates in Montenegro

Growth of bank assets accelerates in Montenegro
By Denitsa Koseva in Sofia February 21, 2017

Montenegro’s commercial bank assets rose 9.2% y/y to €3.77bn at the end of January, accelerating from a 9% y/y rise the month before, data from the central bank (CBCG) showed on February 21.

Montenegro’s financial system is largely stable, with adequate bank capitalisation and liquidity, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has said. However, the high level of non-performing loans (NPLs), low provisioning and bank profitability, and weak asset quality were identified as sources of vulnerability. In June, the fund urged the central bank to conduct an Asset Quality Review (AQR) in order to address vulnerabilities caused by inadequate asset valuation in the banking system.

Bank loans, which accounted for 64.2% of total assets, increased by 1.5% y/y in January, after rising by 1.3% y/y in December, with total stock reaching €2.42bn. The improving result mainly reflected higher lending to households.

Corporate lending increased by 2.4% y/y to €1.03 in January, improving from a 1.9% y/y rise in December. Household loans rose 11.1% y/y to €1.02bn, accelerating from the 10.5% y/y growth the previous month.

Loans to financial institutions, which accounted for 10.4% of the total loan portfolio, declined by 29.8% y/y to €386mn, after falling by 28.7% y/y in December.